The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 5, 2013

AP source: A-Rod can play during suspension appeal

— NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez figures to have a one-of-a-kind day on Monday. He'll receive a lengthy suspension from baseball and then head to the ballpark to play for the New York Yankees for the first time this season.

A-Rod's suspension, likely through the 2014 season, was to be announced as part of Major League Baseball's latest drug investigation, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

Major League Baseball informed the Yankees on Sunday that A-Rod will be suspended for his links to a clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statement was authorized.

But the person also said A-Rod will be eligible to play while he appeals the penalty to an arbitrator.

The Yankees weren't told the exact length of the suspension, though they were under the impression it will be through the 2014 season, the person said.

The Yankees star could get a shorter penalty if he agrees to give up the right to file a grievance and force the case before an arbitrator, the person added.

A suspension from Monday through 2014 would total 214 games, and an unsuccessful appeal could stretch serving the penalty into 2015.

In the era before players and owners agreed to a drug plan in late 2002, arbitrators often shortened drug suspensions — in the case of Yankees pitcher Steve Howe, his penalty was cut from a lifetime ban to 119 days.

MLB planned an announcement for noon EDT Monday, a second person familiar with the deliberations said, also on condition of anonymity.

Rodriguez is the most famous player linked to the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in Florida, and the Yankees expect him to be charged with interfering with MLB's investigation, resulting in a harsher penalty than the other 13 players facing discipline.

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